In an auditorium at Fayette Public Schools headquarters, a fraction of the district’s 40,000 students, with parents in attendance, perform. A majority of them had no knowledge of Superintendent Tom Shelton’s resignation.
"I was really shocked, I hadn’t heard that yet," said Mary Gash, a parent. Others joined in on her reaction.
"I’m more close with their teachers and I don’t get on that side of their business," said Marquita Johnson.
"I’m surprised, I had no idea this was even coming, no idea," said David Eckmann.
While listening to the beautiful sounds their children made as musicians, they wondered what the future holds for them under new leadership.
"I think that could probably, on the back end interfere a little bit with their education," said Gash.
"I guess that could slow some of the decisions he’s going to be making but I think there’s people around him that could probably step in. I’m sure they’ll get somebody to step in right now that can make those decisions," said Eckmann.
With Shelton’s last day scheduled for the last day of 2014, he’ll no longer be around for the re-drawing of district boundaries. It’s an absence one board member says won’t be felt.
"Really his role was more of support and answer questions. He’s not a member of the committee per se. He was just there to answer questions and provide support to the committee," said Doug Barnett.
While board member Doug Barnett wouldn’t speculate about the reasoning behind Shelton’s change, it’s important to mention that from May to September, the district’s budget director claimed major money mismanagement resulting in an audit.
That audit found a poor relationship between the finance and budget directors but when asked if he was surprised by the resignation, Barnett, freshly elected to a new term on the board gave an interesting answer.
Before formulating a response, Barnett said, "You know? That’s a pretty good question. And I don’t know how to answer that, I really don’t, I wish I could, I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know if it was just a combination of things that led to his decision, maybe he just wants a different career path, I don’t know but for me, I don’t know I’ve got think on that one some more."
Board chairman John Price said the process to find Shelton’s replacement will begin soon. There is a regularly scheduled board meeting Monday, November 10 at 5:30 in the evening.